Fear and Hatred and Profits

(I wrote this in reaction to something I saw posted on Facebook yesterday that said essentially “bad people do bad things, there’s nothing we can do.”   I’ve debated posting it here until I finally said fuck it)

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searching for light in the darkness of insanity.
I ask myself
Is all hope lost?

         –  Nick Lowe

Friday, December 14, 2012:  The world is unrecognizable.  

Maybe those Mayan calendars predicting the end of the world were right after all. When insanity rains over innocence, the structure of the world starts to fall apart, and everything we know to be true and real and important is torn.   The world isn’t the world anymore.   It’s beginning to look more like Hell every day.

No place is safe.  We’ve had shootings in temples, grocery stores, movie theatres and, just in the past few days, shopping malls and elementary schools.  Think about that for a moment – temples and elementary schools.  Places of worship and learning.   Grocery stores and shopping malls.  Centers of sustenance and commerce.   These are elemental components of any civilized society.  They may have been home to violence in other countries, but in the United States?

What’s to be done?  There will be much debate in the coming days.  Do we banish all guns forever?  Or do we arm everybody?  Nobody knows the answer.

Maybe a place to begin is to start recognizing each other as neighbors, as fellow human beings, and start treating each other as such.   What we are seeing is the result of the intense fear and resentment and selfishness that is pounded into us day after day.   How many sick people are out there with serious mental illness going untreated?   How many needless guns are out on the street for people to “protect” themselves from those evil people with different colored skin who are just waiting to hurt them? 

The problem is money.   The NRA doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the second amendment or protecting people’s rights.   That’s all a sham – the NRA is manufacturing fear so gun companies can manufacture more guns.   And it’s working spectacularly well. 

The same is true of the people looking to cut “entitlements.”  They aren’t concerned about leaving our children with crippling debt.  That’s a sham, too.  They’re working for the health care industry, trying to eliminate Social Security and Medicare so that private companies can take them over.   The result of this will be an even larger number of the already expanding population of people with mental illness falling through the cracks, not getting the treatment they need.

This is a volatile combination that is brewing.   More mentally ill people and more guns on the street.  More fear and divisiveness being stirred up.  More anger and confusion and chaos.   More money being made.   And more rhetoric and resentment.  It’s all festering, right beneath the surface, and it’s spreading like cancer.

It’s ironic that the same people who so fervently go on and on about the rights of the unborn are the ones shrugging their shoulders today, saying “bad people do bad things, there’s nothing you can do.”  Today 20 innocent children were slaughtered.  They were between five and ten years old.   Any society that can’t protect five to ten year old children is a miserable failure.  And I don’t care what anybody says, the right of five to ten year old children to live a fear free life and not be gunned down in cold blood is infinitely more important than the right to hunt deer or to cower to manufactured fear behind the barrel of a handgun.  I’m not saying get rid of guns, I’m saying lets’ bring a little honesty and perspective to the debate.   And these children, who are loved by parents and siblings and grandparents, who’ve just started developing friendships and passions and experiencing joy and wonder, who have so much potential, are more important than those unborn fetuses we hear so much about.  If you want to be pro-life, that’s fine, but be consistent – be pro-life for those who are already living as well as those yet to be born. 

We are told to hate welfare recipients because they are cheating us.  We are told to hate immigrants because they will take our jobs.  We are told to hate people with different colored skin because they want to hurt us and take our things.  We are told to hate people with different religious beliefs because they want to blow us up and make us worship their gods.  We are even told to hate people who work for us, teachers and cops and prison guards, because they are getting better benefits than we are.  Then we scratch our heads and wonder, why all the senseless violence?

Are we really that fucking stupid?